View Full Version : A Closer Look At The Steelers

05-21-2012, 08:32 PM
A Closer Look At The Steelers

MAY 21, 2012 BY BILL

Today I am really going to poke the beehive by taking a look at the Steelers, because they aren’t going to like what I have to say at all. But if they are honest with themselves, they know I have a good point.

OFFENSE (2011)

Overall 12th
Passing 10th
Rushing 14th
TDs 19th
Scoring 21st

DEFENSE (2011)

Overall 1st
Passing 1st
Rushing 8th
Sacks 17th
INTs 24th
TDs 1st


1.24 David DeCastro OG
2.24 Mike Adams OT
3.23 Sean Spence OLB
4.14 Alameda Ta’amu DT
5.24 Chris Rainey RB
7.24 Toney Clemons WR
7.33 David Paulson TE
7.39 Terrence Frederick CB
7.41 Kelvin Beachum OG


Ben Roethlisberger
Mike Wallace
Antonio Brown
James Harrison
Troy Polamalu
Lamarr Woodley

Dynasties come in many forms, many durations, many intensities. And there is no arguing that the Steelers have been the primary force in the AFC North for a number of years. But despite their many differences, all dynasties eventually have one thing in common: they end.

I am not declaring the Steelers dynasty as over in 2012. They will still be a force this year. But this offseason revealed some cracks in their foundation that I think in the next few years will leave the fabled fortress breached, the yellow-and-black painted fans crying in their yellow hankies, and TV commentators searching for another franchise to fawn over.

Money. The team found themselves committed way over the salary cap this offseason. They were forced to cut ties with several long time players not just to get back under the cap, but also free up adequate space to try to strike a deal with phenom WR Mike Wallace.

The most notable casualty was Hines Ward. Despite his declining numbers, his absence will still be felt most because of his ability and persistence as a blocker. And it will be a little odd not seeing the old LB James Farrior roaming the field any more.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the Steelers’ cap situation, but last I knew, they were only a few million under the cap. And the deal with Wallace is still lurking. Unless they have cleared out more space that I am not aware of, they are going to be in the exact same position next year when they have to negotiate with WR Antonio Brown.

This situation also puts more pressure on the front office to hit home runs with the draft. They simply do not have the money to plug holes with free agents.
Age. With the money-motivated house cleaning that moved Ward, Farrior, Hoke, Kemoeatu, Battle, McFadden and Smith off of the roster, the Steelers lost 76 seasons of experience in those 7 guys. That is a significant amount of experience to move off of the roster all at once.

But there is still plenty of age left on their roster. Take a look at how many years that a number of their starters have been in the league: Will Allen 8 Ryan Clark (10); Jerricho Cotchery 8 Larry Foote (10); Casey Hampton (11); James Harrison 8 Brett Keisel (10); Heath Miller (7); Troy Polamalu (9); Ben Roethlisberger 8 and Ike Taylor (9).

That’s 11 guys — names you know well — entering their 8th season or later, and six entering their 10th season or later. They won’t all go down this year, obviously, but Father Time will not be so generous to those who do get nicked up. And with the regular pounding that Roethlisberger takes, at some point it is going to cost him. It almost did last year.

New OC. Bruce Arians made happen something that I never thought I would see: the conversion of the Steelers to a passing team. But it made sense to use the best of the tools that had been given to him. Obviously it worked.

Now the offense will be working under a new guy, Todd Haley. Sometimes the transition to a new coordinator goes smoothly, and sometimes it does not. Will Haley know how to call the plays that bring the best out of his guys? Will Haley’s reportedly sizable ego make him too rigid at times? I don’t know about these, but it is safe to say that he has huge shoes to fill just to keep pace with Arians.

Bottom line, the Steelers will still be a tough team to beat this year, but they have spent and aged themselves into a place where it is going to be difficult to maintain this success much longer. Time, injury and cap space will continue to force out the guys who have defined them for the past decade. Unless they have outstanding drafts in the next couple of years, this dynasty will be ending soon.


Discipline of Steel
05-21-2012, 08:40 PM
Thank you for your opinion Bill.

05-21-2012, 08:53 PM
What a mental article. The Steelers are drafting well and getting younger at important positions. The defensive line was an area of concern a few years ago and now look at it. The secondary was a concern and now we have a few ready to step in and perform at a high level. Our linebackers are young, our offensive line is very young, our receivers are young. If there is an area of concern it's at safety but beyond that I'm not sure where the huge problem exists. A team that routinely drafts exceptionally well is just going to cease to draft exceptionally well? I'll be 30 in September and felt this most recent draft was the best draft we've had since I first began walking the earth. Time will tell but I'm not at all worried about the age of the Steelers.

The Steelers made the tough cuts to get under the cap and I personally feel the team is stronger now than it was last season.

05-21-2012, 09:45 PM
Some old drivel every year.... "Steelers are old", "Steelers are cap strapped", "Steelers will not be the same as last year", blah, blah, blah.
The only thing we can bank on is that the Steelers are one of the most well-managed teams in the league. By well-managed I mean they are consistently competitive without the need to bring in over-priced or over-aged free agents. They rarely reach in the draft and they usually find a gem or two as undrafted free agents.
Even if all hell breaks lose with a new OL and OC and the loss of key defensive players, I dont see this team any worse than 8-8 and a 10-6 season would not be a stretch, even with Baltimore and Cincinnati to play.

D Rock
05-21-2012, 10:56 PM
Lets just put it this way...here's a potential look at the team in 5 years. I'll assume a handful of guys are retired/cap casualties and that Ben is too often injured and not in the lineup


Wallace - Sanders......Adams - Colon - Pouncey - DeCastro - Gilbert - Miller.........Brown
.................................................. ...????????....................................... ...............
.............................................Redma n/Mendenhall........................................ ........

Well, what do you know. That looks pretty darn familiar. Clearly this team needs a solid backup/future QB, but that is the only piece missing on offense.


.............................Hood - Ta'amu/McClendon - Heyward..............................
............Woodley - Sylvester/Spence - Timmons - Carter/Worilds..................
C. Allen....................????????................. ????????.......................Brown/Lewis

Well this is definitely a bit more of a scary situation. But what I find interesting is that the offense was the weakness, and now it's set for the future. Now the defense may become the weakness moving forward. Luckily there are a lot of young guys in place who could develop. And between now and 5 years from now there will be 10 more draft picks in the top 2 rounds to plug holes with. It's a big mystery right now, but I really don't feel too worried about it. No doubt that some safeties need to be brought in sooner rather than later though.

Oh yeah, and there's also the whole thing where in the new NFL, you can win games with a great offense and a mediocre defense. Looks like the Steelers are ahead of the curve on protecting the dynasty to me!

(And did the author of that article really say that there were huge shoes to fill with Arians gone?!? That about says it all right there on how reliable of a writer that guy is)

05-21-2012, 11:13 PM
Thank you for your opinion Bill.

That was the first thing I noticed. The only thing I kept thinking throughout the article was "I don't know this Bill guy is, but he's pretty damn stupid". :D

I wonder if he uses that name as his Rvens message board sign-in.

05-22-2012, 03:07 AM
If you click the link which I didn't do the first time you'll see it's a article written on a Bengal "super fan" site. There are links for "who dey" this and "who dey" that across the top.

05-22-2012, 12:31 PM

And the "huge shoes to fill" comment must be about the size of Bruce's feet...I can't think of any other possibly way to interpret that.


NW Steeler
05-22-2012, 01:24 PM
I have stepped in steaming piles that have smelled better than that article.

05-22-2012, 02:34 PM
For some reason, the writers arguments didn't leave me crying in my black 'n gold "hankie." It seems he forgot to point out that of all that experience that got dumped, only one of those players was a starter and he was only part-time at that.

Some people's kids... :HeadBanger